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Congress and the U.S.-China Relationship 1949-1979

By Guangqiu Xu

Publication Year: 2007

Guangqiu Xu, a native of China fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese, has written an exhaustive study of United States-China relations during the Cold War, with a special focus on the role of the U.S. Congress in influencing Sino-American policy. Based upon extensive archival research in Chinese and American sources, Professor Xu's book is comprehensive and original. It is a detailed account of the interactions between Congress and the White House as the United States forged its policies regarding the world's most populous nation. Covering the period from the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 to the United States' recognition of the PRC in 1979, this study shows how Congress became a key factor in the formulation and conduct of China policy. No other book examines so fully the legislative-executive struggles and compromises during this thirty-year period, from the postwar maneuverings of Truman to Nixon's surprising visit to Beijing. Especially important is Professor Xu's use of Chinese source material to discuss China's reaction and response to American policy decisions. Congress and the U.S.-China Relationship, 1949-1979 examines a familiar story from a fresh perspective, putting into a new context the forces at play in determining how the United States and China responded to each other during the chilliest years of the Cold War. With his emphasis on Congress, Professor Xu has opened up the history of the period to an analysis of how legislative power, direct and indirect, can affect foreign policy and change the course of world events.

Published by: The University of Akron Press


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p. v

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p. vii

This book was written during the past five years, although parts of it go back much earlier; my own thoughts on these topics have developed significantly over time. I have incurred a number of debts in completing this book. Zhang Shuguang, master historian...

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Note on Transliteration

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p. ix

This book uses pinyin romanization, a system that is applied to Chinese names of persons, places, and terms. However, some popular names have traditional Wade-Giles spellings appearing in parentheses, and traditional spellings are used for place names and personal...

List of Abbreviations

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p. xi

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pp. 1-14

The Truman administration was working on a new China policy when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took over mainland China in 1949. The policy was not shaped completely until North Korea attacked South Korea in 1950, when President Harry S. Truman...

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1. Congressional Influence on China Policy and the CCP’s Reaction, 1949–1951

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pp. 15-78

Despite the voluminous and diverse studies on U.S.-China relations between 1949 and 1951, Congress’s role in China policy during that time is rarely closely examined, and the CCP’s reactions to Congress’s China policy are seldom investigated at all.1 Historians...

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2. Congressional China Inquests and the McCarran Act, 1950–1952

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pp. 79-112

There were twenty-four investigations of Communism and subversion during the Eighty-first Congress (1949–51), and the number climbed to thirty-four in the Eighty-second Congress. The congressional hearings generated an enormous amount of scholarly...

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3. Congressional China Policy and the Issue of Taiwan, 1953–1963

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pp. 113-179

During the first Taiwan Strait crisis from September 1954 to April 1955 and the second Taiwan Strait crisis from August to October 1958, the United States was locked into dangerous confrontations with the PRC over a number of small islands just off the coast of mainland...

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4. Congress’s Role in U.S.-China Rapprochement, 1964–1972

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pp. 180-241

Despite the extensive literature on U.S-China rapprochement, less attention has been paid to the role Congress played in revising the containment-and-isolation policy toward China from 1964 to 1972.1 The conventional interpretation of Congress’s role in the making of...

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5. Congress’s Role in U.S.-China Relations, 1972–1979

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pp. 242-294

Notwithstanding a great body of literature on the U.S.-China rapprochement process of 1972 to 1979, few accounts discuss the congressional role in the process.1 The current interpretation of the role Congress played in the Sino-American normalization process in the...

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pp. 295-302

Congress became interested in the China issue after the Second World War. A majority of Congress supported President Truman’s hands-off policy toward China, but the most forceful congressional opponents of this Asian policy urged greater American support...


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pp. 303-308


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pp. 309-366


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pp. 367-401


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pp. 403-409

E-ISBN-13: 9781935603122
E-ISBN-10: 1935603124
Print-ISBN-13: 9781931968393
Print-ISBN-10: 193196839X

Page Count: 407
Illustrations: 3 line drawings, 1 graph
Publication Year: 2007

OCLC Number: 704517574
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Congress and the U.S.-China Relationship 1949-1979

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Subject Headings

  • United States. Congress -- History -- 20th century.
  • Executive-legislative relations -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- China.
  • China -- Foreign relations -- United States.
  • China -- History -- 1949-1976.
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